President's Message

By Jon Arizumi, President


Jon ArizumiWOW!  Time sure flies by when you're having fun!


We're rounding the bend to 2013 and our Chamber has been busy with many events and plans to have more during the remainder of this year.  I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone in the various committees for their assidious efforts and dedication to ensuring successful events.

The past few months have been filled with many electrifying events.  In August, I had the privilege to represent JCCIH at the annual Ireito Memorial Service held at Alae Cemetery.  The event was quite moving as there were representatives from various kenjinkai organizations and churches offering "Oshoko".  The service was dedicated to our Issei descendants who came to Hawai'i, whom we owe a great debt of gratitude for making the sacrifices that have paved the way for the lifestyle we enjoy today.  As we say, Okage Sama De..."We are what we are because of you!"

At the East Hawai'i Hiroshima Kenjinkai 45th Anniversary Celebration, I had the honor to meet with the Governor of Hiroshima - Hidehiko Yuzaki and Chairman Masao Hayashi of Hiroshima Prefectural.   It was a pleasant surprise to find out Governor Yuzaki received his graduate degree from Sanford University.  Approximatel 100 members joined in on the celebration.   

On August 29, our Chamber hosted a Farewell Luncheon for Consul General and Mrs. Yoshihiko Kamo.  Mahalo to all who helped arrange for the festivities; Art Taniguchi, Lei Momi Fujiyama, Tommy Goya, Dwayne Mukai and other members made it a very memorable event.  (See article)

In previous years, members have requested that HELCO host a "Goji Kara" event at their facility.  Under the leadership of HELCO President, Mr. Jay Ignacio, this event came to fruition on September 27 to a sold out crowd.  Chamber members and their guests had a rare opportunity to tour HELCO's Hill Power Plant and speak with HELCO President  regarding their utility concerns.   Special mahalo to all who made the experience worthwhile:  Social and Culture Chairperson - Janice Bueltmann, Josie Kiyan, Tracey Miura, Amanda Lee and Lei Momi Fujiyama.  This was JCCIH Chamber's first "Goji Kara" at HELCO. 

Our Chamber has more exhilarating events scheduled for the remainder of 2012.

The 14th annual Taste of Hilo was held at the Hilo Honpa Hongwanji Sangha Hall on Sunday, October 21st from 1 to 3 pm to a SOLD OUT crowd of 600 people.  Proceeds from this signature fundraising event will support higher education opportunities at Hawai'i Community College.  Established at Nani Mau Gardens in 1998, this event has come a long way over the years and we are proud of the accomplishments and difference it has made in the lives of students. 

I am sincerely humbled and honored to represent the chamber as I travel to our sister Chamber, Higashi-Hiroshima, to attend the 2012 Sake Festival in October.  I'm looking forward to continuing the fellowship, exchange of culture and business goals established with our sister city since 1999. 

Thank you for your continued support of our Chamber.  
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!    




SaekoHayashiNihongoJanice Bueltmann
Christmas Party...SAVE-THE-DATE 
By Janice Bueltmann, Social & Cultural Chair



It's not quite Halloween yet,

But our Christmas Party date is set! 

*Please save the date and join us:*


Monday, December 3, 2012 at the Hilo Yacht Club.  Registration at 5:30, dinner begins at 6:30. $45 member price, $50 non-member price.


More information coming soon.


Mahalo nui!

Holiday berry  




14th Annual, A Taste of Hilo 
By Chad Ogata, Taste of Hilo Chair

 Chad Ogata

 Mahalo to everyone for supporting our 14th Annual A Taste of Hilo held at Sangha Hall on October 21, 2012, with an early sell-out crowd of nearly 600 people!

A special Mahalo to all of our loyal and generous vendors who gave their time and resources, our corporate sponsors, those who donated to our silent auction, and to all who purchased tickets and attended in making this event a huge success.

This year we featured Big Island Grown products (Hamakua Mushrooms, Berger's Kama`aina Farm, Inc., and Kulana Foods) specially prepared by Chef Ippy Aiona, finalist on the Food Network Challenge, who did an awesome job.

A big Mahalo to our A Taste of Hilo Committee for putting in the time and energy to plan and pull off this wonderful culinary event.

I would like to recognize Craig Shiroma and Russell Arikawa for volunteering to co-chair next year's 15th annual event.  We ask for everyone's continued support.

Above all, let's continue to support our community and higher education through chamber programs and events such as this.

I would also like to personally thank Grant & Tracey Kauahi, from Southern Wines & Spirits of Hawaii, who were inadvertently left out of the vendor list in the program booklet.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!





By Ramsey Lundock, Subaru Telescope


The Japanese are very punctual.  Like any generalization, of course there are exceptions, but these standout because of the stark contrast.  If you make a dinner appointment for 20 people at 7 o'clock, you can be sure to have 20 people assembled and ready at 6:57.  When a store opens, the deadbolt in the front door turns exactly on the hour.  S
A busy train pulls into the station, exactly on time.
tores and restaurants give you 15 minutes warning to make sure you're out by closing time (and they don't have to worry about stragglers).  The best example is the train system.   In Japan I literally set my watch by the trains. And that watch stood me in good stead from one end of the country to the other (from Sapporo Hokkaido to Fukuoka Kyushu).


But the Japanese do not constantly watch the clock and worry about their next appointment.  Being on time is such a part of the culture that once you find the rhythm it's like jumping rope:  it would be harder to stop than to keep going. 

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Japanese punctuality is that they do it all manually.  They use less automatization than Americans.



Goji Kara at HELCO  
By Tracey Miura  


On Thursday, September 27, HELCO opened their doors at the Kanoelehua Baseyard (Hill Station) to the members of JCCIH for  a   Goji Kara event.  When we arrived, we were treated to yummy pupus such as sushi, nori chicken, nishime, poke and won tun.  HELCO President Jay Ignacio gave a  short presentation about HELCO's commitment to obtain more electricity through renewable resources.  

HELCO logo

After Jay's presentation, we separated into five groups which were escorted by HELCO employees.  My group leader was Chris, a Safety Manager, and our first stop was the SmartMetering presentation.  The SmartMeter is currently in its test phase with HELCO employees.  The SmartMeter has the ability to relay information to display units within households so that the households can be more in control of their electricity usage. 


The next stop on our tour was at the Production facility.  We put on our hard hats and safety glasses and were taken to see Steam Generator's 5 & 6.  We were even allowed into the control room on the 2nd floor of the plant and I was amazed to see the amount of buttons on the old control panel which operated  the steam generators.  According to the Control Room Operator, the large computers in the room control the units.  

Our third stop was at the engineering building with Amanda Lee, who did a short talk about phantom power and new energy saving power strips, which were supplied at no charge to attendees, courtesy of  We were allowed to sign up to receive a power strip, which we took home that night.

The fourth stop, was a presentation by a HELCO engineer, who showed us the display screen of the main control systems.  We could see which units were running at the different capacities and how much electricity their partner energy producers were generating.

During our last stop, we learned about something called CarinaCollar, a new type of  energy intelligent technology that  wirelessly notifies HELCO operators if the electricity is cut off at a residence because of fallen trees or other types of interruptions.  There are currently around 30 collars in use at HELCO.  The Carina Collar eliminates the costs and hazards of reading and servicing hard-to-read meters and challenging accounts, making it easier for HELCO to service its customers and _____

At the end of the night, HELCO generously gave attendees a goodie bag filled with a coffee mug or a business card holder.    

We had a great time at the Hill Station.  We were fortunate to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the electricity that comes into our homes and businesses is produced.  It was also good to know that HELCO is looking towards the future and testing items such as the SmartMetering and the Carina Collar.  


Thank you very much Jay and the HELCO gang for allowing us into your business for September's Goji Kara event.  We had a lot of fun!   





Dedication Ceremony for New UH Hilo Sculpture

By Carol VanCamp  

UHH statueA dedication ceremony was held on Friday, September 14, 2012 for the Makali`i sculpture located at the gateway entrance to the UH Hilo campus. The ceremonial structure was created by artist Albert Paley to celebrate the identity, mission and purpose of the University through its various elements and symbolism.   


The sculpture is based on traditional and historic Hawaiian structures, which symbolize important events like harvests, ceremonial gatherings, fishing rites and burial sites to create a sense of place and identity.  

UHH statue_group photoThrough the use of its various elements, the Makali`i composition draws a parallel between the identity and historic evolution of the host culture and the educational odyssey and transformation brought about through the University experience.   



HawCCHawCC Update
By Chancellor Noreen Yamane


Hawai'i Community College hosted two groups from Japan in July and September as part of the Office of Continuing Education and Training's short-term Study to Hawai'i program.  The Nago City Board of Education from Okinawa, Japan selected 12 middle school students to spend three weeks of their summer on the Big Island.  Hawai'i Community College partnered with Hui Okinawa to host this group of girls in providing homestay experiences as well as helping with their Haari Boat Festival this past July.  Mayor Susumu Inamine from Nago City, Mayor Choko Taira from Kumejima, and their entourage from the Board of Education, Department of Education, and Kumejima High School visited the Hawai'i Community College campus and were welcomed with a Kipaepae ceremony.  Daily English language and conversation practice with local students, shadowing Waiakea Intermediate School students for a day, staying at Kilauea Military Camp and in Kona highlighted these juniro high school students' stay.  Both Nago City and Kumejima Mayors are looking forward to sending selected students to the Big Island for the next ten years. 

Hakuoh University of Japan has sent their students to Kapi'olani Community College for the past six years and also offers a Hakuoh Handbell Choir concert on Oahu annually.  For the first time this year, Hawai'i Community College was given the opportunity to host an inaugural group of 15 college students in early September.  Students teamed with the Human Services class to prepare omiyage for residents at the Hilo Adult Day Care Center.  Each component of this week-long program linked Hawai'i's culture to their own culture in Japan through the realization of commonalities between our customs (Hawaiian and Japanese).  They plan to send more students to Hawai'i Community College again next year. 

As we receive more of these international groups coming to our island, we hope to involve Chamber members to interact with the visiting students.  Hawai'i Community College plans to work with the JCC&IH Social and Culture Committee to see how we can plan joint activities much like the ones we recently experienced with Hui Okinawa.   


HawCC Spam Musubi 

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Farewell Luncheon for Consul General and Mrs. Kamo
By Art Tanuguchi, Honorary Consul General of Japan at Hilo


On August 29th, the JCCIH helped to organize a farewell luncheon for Consul General and Mrs. Yoshihiko Kamo at the Hilo Yacht Club.

Attendees included Mayor Billy Kenoi, State Representative Clifton Tsuji and representatives for the various Kenjin Kai's and Japanese-affiliated organizations.  We also had the President of the Kona Hiroshima Kenjin Kai and a director of the Kona Japanese Civic Association.

Consul General Kamo
has a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Corps and is now in Tokyo to receive his official appointment as Ambassador to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.  He and his wife have made a tremendous impact on the people of Hawai'i and was very supportive of us on the Big Island.



Mr & Mrs. Consul General Kamo 
Consul General and Mrs. Kamo sent me a card asking me to relay their thanks to all who attended the farewell luncheon.  They went to visit the Subaru facility on Mauna Kea that afternoon and had dinner at Hale Pohaku, then descended to the visitor center for star-gazing.

The next morning, we had a short memorial service for the two deceased cadets buried at Alae Cemetery in the late 1920's and the Consul General and his wife wanted to pay their respects.


A big mahalo to Lei Fujiyama at our office whose efforts were instrumental in making the event a success.  






State DOE Superintendent Outlines New Strategic Plan for Hawai'i's Schools

By Carol VanCamp 


Hilo High School alumna, Kathryn Matayoshi, who now leads the Hawai'i Dept. of Education, unveiled the DOE's plans to reform and improve  K-12 public  education during a presentation to the joint Government Affairs and Education Committees of JCCIH and HICC on Oct.12th.

She emphasized the need to establish partnerships outside of the DOE to better prepare students for entry into college and the job market, noting that the DOE cannot accomplish this alone.  For the first time, the

new strategic plan has been DOE by the DOE and the Board of Education.  The plan focuses on student growth and their readiness for college and careers upon graduation.

Teacher evaluations are also on the DOE's agenda, with a focus on teacher improvement as opposed to getting rid of teachers.  This will be accomplished through professional development and training.  According to Matayoshi, recent test scores for students in grades 4-8 have shown significant improvement in math and reading.  An $11 million one-year program currently in effect is targeting the achievement of students in the lowest socio-economic areas and includes the Pahoa-Kea'au-Ka'u and Waianae school complexes.  In these two complexes, the funds are being used to extend the school day to provide various types of remedial and supplemental programs to help students improve.

Suprintendent Kathryn Matayoshi Matayoshi was appointed State DOE superintendent in September 2010 after having served as interim superintendent for eight months.  She is an attorney and former director of the Hawaii Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.  Her expertise in public policy and strategic planning has been integral to transforming and streamlining the DOE's systems and operations.
The presentation also included time for questions from Chamber members and an update on DOE plans to reduce costs by $2 million annually by making each school
building a net energy producer within the next three to five years.







Tommy's Time

Tommy Goya     


Life is always brighter on the sunny side of the street.









October 2012
In This Issue
President's Message
Christmas Party Save the Date!
14th Annual Taste of Hilo
Goji Kara at HELCO
Dedication Ceremony for New UH Hilo Sculpture
HawCC Update
Farewell Luncheon for Consul General and Mrs. Kamo
State DOE Superintendent
Words of Wisdom
2012-2013 JCCIH Leadership
Welcome New Members














What's Happening


October 21, 2012
14th Annual A Taste of Hilo
Hilo Honpa Hongwanji, Sangha Hall
1:00 - 3:00pm

October 30, 2012
General Membership Meeting
featuring Lieutenant Brian Schatz
Hilo Yacht Club, 11:30am - 1:00pm

December 3, 2012
General Membership Meeting
Christmas Party
Hilo Yacht Club
more information forthcoming







Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

Jon Arizumi, President

Carol VanCamp, 1st Vice President

David Honma, 2nd Vice President

Darren Nishioka, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Donn Mende, Treasurer
Ivan Nakano, Auditor

Michael Kaleikini, Immediate-Past President



Directors - term expiring 6/30/13
Barry Mizuno
Kimo Lee
Howard Ainsley
Chad Ogata
Ka'iu Kimura
Seth Murashige
Eugene Nishimura
Dwayne Mukai 


Directors - term expiring 6/30/14
Phoebe Lambeth
Marvin Min
Tommy Goya
Russ Oda

Joseph Skruch

Arthur Taniguchi


Directors - term expiring 6/30/15

Janice Bueltmann

Barbara Hastings

Randy Kurohara

Tracey Miura

Michael Miyahira

Allan Onishi

Toby Taniguchi

Oshirase Newsletter  
Lei Momi Fujiyama, Executive Assistant 





Welcome New Members!   



 Georgia Otterson  

   Georgia Otterson

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home




Shannon Takabayashi-Johnson 

Shannon Takabayashi-Johnson

ReMax Properties







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Big Island Toyota 2011
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KTA Super Stores
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creative arts
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HELCO - New Logo 


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CU Hawaii    

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 Hospice of Hilo 

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2012 Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai'i


714 Kanoelehua Avenue
Hilo, Hawai'i 96720-4565
Phone: 808-934-0177
Fax: 808-934-0178 


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